Monday, January 31, 2011
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
A little follow up to "Which loom to loom" post. No, I have yet to find a small gauge loom that I can use with my vision and neurological problems, but I have not given up! I have the AKB sock loom and the Markman adjustable loom in small gauge, and I'm hoping that one or both of these will work for me. In the meantime, I'm working on a few patterns. One is for a little cap, and the other for a diagonal scarf for using up your "scrap" yarn (a loom version of a popular needle knit pattern.) I've also tried to improve the links on the pattern pages for those of you who do not belong to Ravelry. Hopefully you can download the patterns easily now.
Continuing with the Lavender Tea theme, one of my favorite cookies for your tea table:
Lavender Lemon Ice Box Cookies
Lavender and lemon pair well to make this delicious cookie. These cookies will keep for up to a week - I think. They’ve never been around long enough in our house to know for sure. I have used organic dried English lavender flower buds (unopened flowers) in this recipe. If you use a different variety or if you use fresh lavender, you may get a stronger or weaker lavender flavor.
1 and 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
3 TBSP. light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 tsp. vanilla
zest of 1 lemon, finely grated (about 3 tsp.)
1 and 1/2 tsp. dried lavender flower buds
2 cups flour
1/8 tsp. salt
Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicon baking mats. In a mixer, cream together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. (Don’t skimp on this step.) Beat in the egg, vanilla, and lemon zest. Combine the flour, lavender and salt. Add to the creamed mixture on low speed, until just blended. Divide the dough into two, and roll into logs 1 1/2 inches thick in plastic wrap. Chill until firm, about 1 hour. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the logs into 1/4 inch rounds, rolling the logs as you go to keep them round. Bake one sheet at a time for 8 - 10 minutes, until bottoms are lightly browned. Cool on racks. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.
Copyright 2000-2011 by Invisible Loom and Craft, Renee Van Hoy. All Rights Reserved. Personal Use Only.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
"Is it question and answer time? I like those! Also, if it is, which particular CinDWood loom(s) do you recommend? I like hearing recommendations from other loomers before I make an investment, so if you are ever looking for a post idea, I may have just given you one. ;) "
This is a wide open question, and to make a specific loom recommendation, I would want to know what kind of patterns you like to make. Instead I will tell you about the looms that I have and how I use them.
All my CinDwood looms are in the 1/2 inch gauge. I like this gauge best of all. It makes the nicest fabric in a large peg format. The looms sit well in the hand (they have a rounded base with no hard edges) and the pegs are sturdy, yet have a slight give and a nice flat top that keeps the yarn from slipping. The pegs have not shown any wear, and I have used them quite a lot.
The photo above shows the 51 peg youth hat loom with the Dandelion Shawlette on it. This loom is about the same diameter as a green Knifty Knitter loom, but has many more pegs, which creates a much nicer fabric and allows you to use much thinner yarn than a large gauge loom. It was part of a set of 4 round looms, which have 66 pegs (adult large), 51 pegs (youth), 35 pegs (newborn) and a baby bootie loom.
This next photo shows the Daisy Chain Sweater on the 35 peg CinDwood newborn hat loom. It is used to make the sleeve for this sweater.
Friday, January 21, 2011
Thursday, January 13, 2011
I forgot what day of the week it is! Here is a tea treat, by special request from Karen, some Lavender for your tea table.
Lavender Honey Biscotti
Lavender, honey and pine nuts combine to make an elegant biscotti that will please everyone. And it’s simple to make. I have used organic dried English lavender flower buds (unopened flowers). If you use another type of lavender or fresh lavender, you may get a stronger or weaker lavender flavor.
2 and 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 TBSP. vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. dried lavender buds
2/3 cup toasted pine nuts
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicon baking mat. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and lavender. In a separate bowl, combine the oil, honey, eggs and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Stir the liquids into the flour mixture with a fork. Stir in the toasted pine nuts. Stir gently to form a soft dough. Knead lightly a few times by hand to form a ball. Divide the dough into two pieces. Form each piece into a log on the baking sheet, about 8 inches long, 2 and 1/2 inches wide, and 1 inch thick. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Leave the oven on, and remove the biscotti. Cool a few minutes and remove to a cutting board. Trim off the ends, and slice each log into 10 pieces, about 3/4 inch wide. Lay the biscotti on their sides, and return to the oven for 10 minutes more. Cool. This makes a softer biscotti. If you like a very dry biscotti, extend the time for the second bake.
Copyright 2000-2011 by Invisible Loom and Craft, Renee Van Hoy. All rights reserved. Personal use only.
Saturday, January 8, 2011
In the second photo, you can see the fabric a little better. There is a randomness to the appearance of the knit, but it is actually quite structured. I've made the second version in a bulky mohair, which I did not like as well - the open stitches were lost, although the scarf is soft and wonderful to wear. On the loom right now is a fingerling weight, with a narrow lace ribbon.
The weather is chilly enough now in California for an afghan project, so I'm starting to think about what it should look like. We have enjoyed the two afghans I made for us last winter very much. What is on your loom?
Copyright 2011 by Invisible Loom and Craft. All Rights Reserved. Personal Use Only.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Orange Poppyseed Oatmeal Mini-Muffins
These muffins are quick ( and a little healthy,) and always a hit with kids. You can make 3 dozen mini-muffins, or 1 dozen full size muffins.
1 and 1/2 cups flour
1 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup sugar
4 tsp. poppy seeds
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 large egg
2 Tsbp. fresh orange juice
zest of 1 orange, finely grated
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin cups. In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder and baking soda. Mix together the milk, oil, egg, juice and zest. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until just moistened. Fill muffin cups just over 1/2. Bake 12-15 minutes at 400 degrees, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan and cool on a rack.
Copyright 2000, 2011 by Invisible Loom and Craft, Renee Van Hoy. All rights reserved. Personal use only.